The first few Vancouver stories

Black and white photo
“Na on the train” Still from Harris Taylor’s digital story Agawa Canyon

I am beginning Digital Stories Canada as a way to connect with people who want to tell a digital story. I’d also like to connect with other digital storytelling facilitators and mentors.

My vision: Digital will be an online production studio and exhibition site for Canadian digital stories. It will provide art-centred resources for digital storytellers globally. And through the site, Digital Stories Canada will offer support for face-to-face or online workshops that use a powerful digital storytelling process.

A guided audio mediation

This week, I am working on two stories for the site. The first is an audio creation. I am purposefully beginning with audio so that we can break with Digital Storytelling conventions from the first day.  Years ago, I learned a few Mindful Meditation techniques while attending  a support group for people who were experiencing depression and/or anxiety. For me, taking an awareness break from my usual way of being in the world feels good.

While waiting for an appointment, I closed my eyes and focused on my breathing in a mindful way. An idea for a new guided meditation script came to me. When I returned home, I recorded the voice-over.

I wanted to create a quick recording that people (like me) could use as a five-minute sanity boost. So many of the online meditations are 15 minutes or longer. A friend who heard my first rough edit said that I didn’t leave enough time to breathe. Of course!

Agawa Canyon

The second digital story began when someone attempting to re-enter the work force interviewed me about current employment prospects for video editors. Harris Taylor told me a story about her mom’s connection to the famed Group of Seven painters and the time they spent at Agawa Canyon in Northern Ontario. In talking to friends and relatives, I realized that many older Canadians have family stories about the Group of Seven painters. To begin her digital story, the filmmaker looked through family photos. She viewed older DV format video taken during the last train trip with her mother. Videos featuring trains (sounds and movement) are irresistible. The photo above is her mother riding the train to Agawa Canyon.



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